Ex-Chicago Officer Accused of Torturing Black Men Is Released From Prison

Lynette Holloway
Aaron Cheney demonstrates on Oct. 27, 2008, outside the federal courthouse in Chicago as former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge attended a hearing on charges that he obstructed  justice and committed perjury during a 2003 civil trial about decades-old Chicago police torture allegations in Chicago.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

A former Chicago police commander who was accused of burning and beating more than 100 black men into making false confessions has been released from federal prison after spending less than four years behind bars, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Jon Burge was transferred to a Florida halfway house Thursday, the report says. Burge and the detectives he supervised terrorized the city’s mainly black South Side throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, according to the report. He reportedly forced scores into making false confessions.


But after the expiration of the statute of limitations for his alleged crimes, Burge was convicted of perjury in 2010 on a charge of lying about police torture, the report says. He was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on the perjury conviction.

On Thursday Anthony Holmes, one of Burge’s victims, stood at Chicago’s City Hall and recounted the pain he endured under Burge’s crew. He told reporters of being arrested in 1973 and taken to a police station where detectives hooked him up to an electrical box and put a bag over his head, the Tribune reports. Holmes said that officers shocked him repeatedly until he confessed to a murder he did not commit. The nearly 70-year-old Holmes recalled Burge calling him the n-word and warning him against biting through the bag over his head, the Tribune reports.

“I need some help,” Holmes told a crowd of reporters, according to the Tribune. “I try to hold my emotions back because I don’t want people to see me like that. … My family has been through a lot.”

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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